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KW Record: New GO Service is on the right route

By shost at 10:46 am on Wednesday, August 5, 2009

With thanks to longtime reader/contributor Nick Alexandrou — who notified us of an editorial by the KW Record staff, an exerpt which summarizes the article:

“One point may be stated with certainty. The Toronto-Waterloo Region connection is only going to increase in the years ahead. There is a lot of work still to do on this proposal, but for any driver stuck in traffic on Highway 401, GO trains — even at the estimated costs — can’t come fast enough.”

And here is the link to the full article: http://news.therecord.com/Opinions/Editorials/article/580072

Filed under: Kitchener,Waterloo1 Comment »

VIA Rail plans to add 6 afternoon trains on the North Mainline by 2011

By shost at 10:07 pm on Wednesday, July 22, 2009

GO published their final Environmental Assessment documents this week and within was some interesting information about VIA Rail’s planned improvements. After some heavy reading, the following was published in Appendix B:

VIA Rail plans to add six new trains to the North Mainline, London to Toronto via Kitchener and Guelph. Trains departing from London at 1155, 1505, 1755, and departing from Toronto at 1300, 1630, 1830. This plan would provide off-peak service during the afternoons, and seems to avoid GO “Rush Hour”.

Very interesting news, as if this comes to pass we stand to have 12 VIA Rail and 8 GO Transit departures and arrivals per day by 2011, more than double today’s passenger rail service.

- Steve

(Update: The link to the raw documents can be found here)

Filed under: City of Guelph,Kitchener,News,Waterloo7 Comments »

The case for westbound GO service to Waterloo region

By shost at 1:22 am on Friday, February 13, 2009

GO Transit has been built on the philosophy that people in and around the GTA Commute to downtown Toronto. This philosophy has hardly changed over the last 30 years, owing to the fact the majority of users are in fact commuting in this direction. However, times are changing. The notion that GO is considering westward trains seem to indicate a change. But we must see this through.

Waterloo region (and Guelph) are growing rapidly and independently of the GTA. Consider the Waterloo technology industry — employing tens of thousands of people, companies such as Research in Motion, OpenText, Descartes, ComDev, Intelligent Mechatronic Systems, Sandvine, amongst many others. As an employee of this industry, I must stress that the growth that is occuring in Waterloo as a result of this sectors success can only continue if we find the right talent to fill the thousands of available open positions. This often means we are forced to recruit talent from the Toronto area, where the capture rate of this talent is lowered due to commute distance and/or moving costs.

If Waterloo region and Guelph are to become a successful, independent growth engine of the Ontario economy,  we need to look outward to attract talent using transit. Let’s GO WEST and help our employers attract the talent they require.

- Steve Host

Filed under: City of Guelph,Kitchener,News,Waterloo2 Comments »

PIC #2 Guelph Report, and copy of the Pictureboards

By shost at 1:11 am on Friday, February 13, 2009

First, here is a copy of the Pic display boards, which was also linked by WaterlooWarrior in comments below, (Thanks!):


Second, the comments I heard/discussed with GO/RJ Burnside personell at the PIC

  • There is strong demand for bidirectional rush hour service, not only including service to Toronto, but from Toronto to Kitchener. Somehow, it would appear that they may explore the option of providing this service at the onset in 2011. Time will tell if this is feasible though.
  • Guelph’s parking will be serviced using CIty parking. Some form of parking arrangement between the City and GO will need to be worked out, likely resulting in your GO ticket as your pass to free parking at City parking lots. Poltiically, this requires some form of cost sharing arrangement between the City and Go Transit that has yet to be determined. It would be interesting to see some form of Guelph Transit integration also included, if all stars could align on day one…
  • Significant trackwork and improvements are proposed for Guelph, an almost 10,000 foot long ‘siding track’ (Second main track), essentially upgrading the existing Siding to mainline standards to allow two trains to pass and wait at the Platform at the same time.
  • A second passing track would be installed between Kitchener and Guelph, 6000 feet in length, bordering at the Breslau park and ride station
  • VIA Rail is also looking to improve service on the North Mainline, and some form of cost sharing arrangement will be struck for the track improvements (this service has yet to be fully announced by the Federal government)

What’s next? Send in your comments, this is your last chance. By April, the EA will be finalized and submitted for approval. Once approved, the next step is our Provincial Government announcing the project and funding, likely complete with negotiations with municipal governments on cost sharing arrangements. 2011 is the earliest start date if all goes without a hitch. Good luck to all involved!



Filed under: City of Guelph,Kitchener,News,Waterloo3 Comments »

Guelph Public Information Centre report

By shost at 11:15 pm on Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Good evening, here is my brief report from the Guelph PIC:

  • Reported 75 people attended, including many Guelph city councillors
  • This is the first fast tracked EA under province’s new guidelines
  • Service start date is expected to be 2011
  • All of what has been proposed is just that — subject to change

Some details

  • One of the major bottlenecks, the Credit River Bridge on CN, is going to be double tracked starting next year, in advance of Kitchener/Guelph expansion
  • Baden was not listed as a layover location at the PIC, Petersburg, “IRA Needles” (between Petersburg and Kitchener) and Breslau were proposed alternatively
  • Three kitchener stations were proposed (IRA Needles, Downtown (by VIA station) and Breslau)
  • Three Guelph station locations were proposed (Lafarge, Downtown, Watson Road (Guelph East)
  • Acton is on the map, with two proposed stations (west, and east (hide house))

I’ll post more, and edit this once I recieve electronic copies of the report.

Thanks to the fine folks at GO Transit and RJ Burnside for hosting this, a job well done.


Filed under: City of Guelph,Kitchener,WaterlooComments Off

Get involved! Public information Centres for Georgetown to Kitchener rail expansion

By shost at 4:42 pm on Thursday, September 18, 2008

GO Transit is holding Public Infomation Centre’s — the first so far, for people interested in learning more or participating in the planning process for this expansion. The information centres will occur as follows:

  • Tuesday, September 23, 2008, Italian Canadian Club, Guelph. 135 Ferguson St, 519-821-1110
  • Thursday September 25, 2008, St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, 54 Queen St North, Kitchener, 519-578-4430
  • Wednesday October 1 208, Halton Hills Cultural Centre, 9 Church St, Halton Hills, 905-877-7915

Of interest — the study area is from Mount Pleasant to Baden, Ontario. Baden is further west than had been previously known, it is suspected they may be planning a layover yard in the area but local newspapers  indicated local mayors are looking to achieve full rail service..

- Steve Host


Filed under: City of Guelph,Kitchener,Waterloo2 Comments »

Greyhound users: Kitchener ticket sales moving to Sportsworld..

By shost at 11:05 am on Tuesday, June 17, 2008

To all users of Greyhound commuter service — a  notice from Greyhound stating

NEW KITCHENER LOCATION: The new Kitchener ticket sales location will be at SportsWorld, with service beginning June 15, ticket sales start July 21st.

Downtown pick up and drop-off will continue at Charles St. Terminal

Effective July 21, tickets can no longer be purchased at Charles St. Terminal only at the new SportsWorld location.

You may board the bus downtown Kitchener and purchase your ticket at SportsWorld

[editors note -- what is the impact of this for Guelph highway 7 commuters who don't want to go to Sportsworld to get tickets?]

Thanks to Aidan Kelley for supplying the information for this post..

- Steve



Filed under: Cambridge,City of Guelph,Kitchener,Waterloo1 Comment »

GO Announces EA for Georgetown-Kitchener rail service expansion

By shost at 9:21 pm on Wednesday, May 28, 2008

An Environmental Assessment for GO Train expansion has been announced in the local newspapers, in the least, the Guelph Mercury, May 28 edition.

“The study will review potential sites for construction of new rail stations and layover facilities, and will also identify possible improvements to the existing rail line between Georgetown and Kitchener”

The announcement also invites public participation into the Environmental Assessment Process. Now, I don’t have the timing of the expansion of service in front of me, but I have a funny feeling the timing of this may have something to do with the Region of Waterloo’s accelerated approval of the Rapid Transit plans.

I also note that the Study Region is ONLY Kitchener-Waterloo and Guelph. Breslau is not included. Earlier indications pointed to a layover facility in Breslau…

What happened? Did Waterloo region wake up, or did the province give them a nudge?

Either way, in my opinion, the fact they  are studying GO expansion to Waterloo Region, and furthermore, the coincidence the Rapid Transit system and GO Trains may arrive at the same time are very welcome news. It would be very hard to imagine a Rapid Transit system without some form of reliable inter-city rail service to Toronto…

- Steve Host



Filed under: City of Guelph,Kitchener,Waterloo3 Comments »

Waterloo Region Rapid Transit fast tracked: could be as early as 2013

By shost at 9:07 pm on Wednesday, May 28, 2008

By 2013 Waterloo region residents could be gliding along Rapid Transit light rail systems between Waterloo and Kitchener as part of a plan to fast track municipal and provincial approval for the system.

According to the K-W Record, on May 24, the Province, who is paying 2/3 the cost of the system, invited the Region to fast track their approval, where in turn, the Province would fast track theirs. This shaves 2 years of the approval times required.

The routes and technology (Trains, Bus, etc) will be selected by this fall, said the article.

.. the timing of this is also interesting… GO Transit is pushing Trains into Kitchener and Guelph. See the next post for more.

Read the full article here:


- Steve Host


Filed under: Cambridge,Kitchener,Waterloo1 Comment »

Waterloo Region: Left out in the cold? Guelph going alone for GO Train service?

By shost at 7:29 pm on Friday, May 16, 2008

If you live in Waterloo Region, you should be livid to hear that yet again, it would appear GO Transit is looking to extend GO Train service to Guelph and leaving Waterloo region clearly in the cold.. from the Guelph Tribune, with MPP Liz Sandals and Mayor Karen Farbridge contributing:

“”GO is starting to wonder if it can get service to Guelph without having to do track improvements from Georgetown to Guelph,” [Liz Sandals] said.

“However, the same doesn’t apply to extending GO train service to Kitchener-Waterloo, because there are track issues between K-W and Guelph that would need to be addressed for GO trains to operate there, she said.”

“What to do about extending GO trains west of Georgetown is “sort of an evolving discussion,” and no final decisions have been made, she said.

Double-tracking west of Georgetown would be very expensive, Sandals has said in the past, because a lot of the bridges and grade build-ups involved have been designed for single-tracking.”

The Mayor of Guelph who is very supportive to GO Transit, had the following to say

“She said her letter included information on demand in Guelph for GO trains, work the city is doing towards building a new transit station downtown, and the city’s plans to get more people to live in the downtown area.

When GO trains were extended to Barrie, the business case there called for sufficient ridership to develop over a period of two years, but “the ridership was there within two weeks,” Farbridge said.

Great stuff from Guelph — a very proactive coordination of Government and lo and behold things are moving along… but what of Waterloo Region? … again, if you are from Waterloo start asking your politicians the same question.. it is not too late to get things started.

- Steve Host, Guelph


Filed under: Cambridge,Kitchener,Waterloo1 Comment »
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